Cider and Perry in Britain to 1700: A Collection of Material from Primary and Selected Secondary Sources. Historical Brewing Sourcebook I, collected information from over 120 sources on the title topic. It was always expected that additional sources would be found as research on cider/perry and other topics continued. These sources are presented here.
The book focuses on information detailing the making and use of these drinks. The selected (and newly translated where required) historical sources present, in their centuries-old words, information on: apple and pear varieties used, harvesting, storage (hoarding), crushing/milling, pressing juice, fermentation, fermentation conditions and containers, aging, bottling, and correction of faults. Additional topics include: flavor additions to cider and perry (including spices, other fruit juices, etc.), the importance of the previous contents of barrels, economic data, production rates, and perceived health effects of the drinks. While not a cohesive history or modern instruction manual for brewing, it provides a window into the early history of these enduringly popular drinks for those interested in history, historical foodways, cider and perry brewing, and historical brewing.
Cider and Perry in Britain to 1700 is available from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Cider-Perry-Britain-1700-Collection/dp/173246460X in paperback and kindle versions.
This additional information is presented in the same general format as the core text, and thus also serves as a preview for those who are interested in the format of the more extensive volume.
None of these sources add significant depth to the information collected in the book, but provide additional data on the prevalence and nature of cider/perry presence and use in Britain in the second half of the 17th century.
- 1654 Barker Country-mans Recreation. Husbandry. Brief instructions for making cider including using wine barrels and adding spices.
- 1675 Wooley Accomplish’d Lady. Household. Recipes for cider.
- 1678 Hudson Her Book. Household. Two recipes for cider.
- 1683 Hartman Curiosities. Household. Two recipes for cider, one fairly detailed.
- Late 17th Family Recipes. Household. Recipe to make and fine cider.
- 1685-1695 Cider Marker Share. Economics. Market share of cider among drinks 1685-1700.
- 1700 Bayne Recipes. Household. Recipe for cider.
Names for cider:
- Cider (English): late 17th
- Cydar (English): 1678
- Cyder (English): 1654
- Sider (English): 1678
- Syder (English): 1675, 1683, c. 1700
Names for Perry:
- Perry (English): 1654
1654 Barker Country-mans Recreation
Thomas Barker’s 1654 The Country-mans Recreation includes three books: planting and grafting, the hop garden, and the expert gardener. It contains a brief accounting of making cider.
Barker (1654) instructs:
The making Syder and Perry.
Of Apples and Pears men do make Cyder and Perry, and because the use thereof in most places is known, I will here let passe to speak any further thereof, but (in the pressing your Cyder) I will counsell you to keep clean your vessels, and the place whereas your fruit doth lye, and specially after it is bruised or broken, for then they draw filthy air unto them, and if it be nigh, the Cyder shall be infected therewith, and also bear the taste after the infection thereof: therefore tun it as son as you can into clean and sweet vessels, as into vessels of white wine, or of Sack or of Claret, and such like, for these shall keep your Cyder the better and stronger a long time after: ye may hang a small bag of linnen by a thread down into the lower part of your Vessel, with Powder of Cloves, Mace, Cinamon and Ginger, and such like, which will make your Cyder to have a pleasant taste. (p.74)
1675 Woolley Accomplish’d Lady
Hannah Wooley is credited as the first woman to make a living as an author. She was a ladies servant for a few years, then taught before publishing her first book on household management (including cooking and medicine) in 1661. Other books followed, and she became well known enough that several books were published by others using her name, including this text.
Wooley (1675) instructs on making a fermented drink using cider as an ingredient:
95. To make artificial Claret-wine.
Take six gallons of water, two gallons of the best Syder, put thereto eight pound of the best Malaga raisins bruised in a Morter, let them stand close covered in a warm place the space of a fortnight, every two days stirring them well together; then press out the Raisins, and put the liquor into the said Vessel again, to which add a quarter of the juice of Ras-berries, and a pint of the juice of black Cherries; cover this liquor with bread spread thick with strong Mustard, the Mustard-seed being down=ward, and so let it work by the fire side three or four days, then turn it up and let it stand a week, and then bottle it up, and it will tast as quick as bottle Beer and become a very pleasant drink, and indeed far better and wholsomer then our common Claret.
Wooley (1675) provides instructions to make cider:
205. To make Syder.
Take a Peck of Apples and slice them, and boyl them in a Barrel of Water, till the third part be wasted; then cool your water as you do for Wort, and when it is cold, you must pour the water upon three Measures of grown Apples. Then draw forth the Water at a Tap three or four times a day, for three days together. Then press out the Liquor, and Tun it up; when it hath done working, stop it up close.
1678 Hudson Her Book
Sarah Hudson claims this book in an initial inscription dated 1687/1688, a few pages later a second inscription also names Sarah Hudson giving the date February 15, 1678. The relatively short book contains cooking recipes numbered sequentially.
Hudson (1678) instructs:
A recipte to Make Cydar
Take of your best pipins when they are fully ripe lett them be dry gathered, & keept two months after, then stampe them as you doe verjuce then straine them through a strayner of haire, then boyle the liquor a longe houre continuously scimeing it then lett it stande to be could, & soe tunn it into youre vessell, but you must not drinke it of a moneth after, if you would give it a quick dantey taste put to a hogshead of it a quarte of mustard it must be made with milk without viniger vinager) (Recipe 114)
Hudson (1678) gives a second set of instructions on the next page; the end of these instructions provides an interesting interrelationship between ale and cider production:
How to Make Sider
Take Pipins or pear maynes if you can or any other fruite of juicy aples bruise them or stamp them in a trough & lett them stand a day or two befor you strayne or presse them by reason thereof you will have the more juyce after it is strayned into a great coule, so let it stand two or 3 dayes, as it workes lett the scum be taken of, then tunn it into a vessell, but not stop it you for it will worke & reserve some to fill it upe as it workes the dreggs there of putt into a hogsheads and fill it upe with ale and lett it stand six weekes or two moneths, likewise when you have spent all youre sider, fill it upe with ale and lett it stand six weekes or two moneths. (Recipe 122)
1683 Hartman Curiosities
Hartman’s Curiosities of Art and Nature is a compilation of varied medical, household and countryside recipes, advice, and prescriptions which purports to also contain “divers other Curious Matters”. One named section includes instructions for making cider and other wines.
Hartman (1683) instructs:
Mrs. Marbury’s Receipt to make Syder.
Take a peck of Apples and slice them, and boyl them in a Barrel of Water, till the third part be wasted; then cool your water as you do for wort, when it-is cooled you must pour the water upon three measures of grownd Apples; then drain out the water at a Tap three or four times a day, for three days together; then press out the Liquor and Tun it up; when it hath done Working then stop it up close. (p.29)
Hartman (1683) instructs:
Sir Paul Neal’s way of making Syder.
The best Apples make the best Syder; as Pearmains, Pippins, Golden-pippens, and the like; Codlins make the finest Syder of all (they must be ripe when you make Syder of them, and is in prime in the Summer season, when no other Syder is good, but lasteth not long, not beyond Autumn. The Foundation of making perfect Syder, consisteth in not having it work much, scarce ever at all; but at least no second time; which ordinary Syder doth often upon change of Weather, and upon Motion, and upon every working it grows harder. Do then thus: Choose good Apples, Red-streak are the best for Syder to keep, Gennet-Moils the next, then Pippins, let them lye about three weeks after they are gathered; then flamp and straln them in the ordinary way into a wooden Fat that hath a Spiggot, three or four fingers breadth above the bottom. Cover the fat with some hair or Sack-cloath, to secure it from any thing to fall in, and to keep in some of the Spirits, so to preserve it from dying; but not so much as to make it ferment. When the juice hath been there twelve hours, draw it by the Spiggot (the Fat inclining that way, as if it were a little Tilted) into a Barrel; which must not be full by about two fingers, leave the bung open for the air to come in upon a Superficies all along the Barrel, to hinder it from Fermenting; but not so Large a Superficies as to endanger dying, by the airs depredating too many Spirits from it: the drift in both these setlings is, that the grosser parts consisting of the substance of the Apple, may settle to the bottom and be severed from the Liquor; for it is that which makes it Work again (upon motion or Change of Weather) and spoils it. After twenty four hours draw off it, to see if it be clear by the setling of all the dregs, above which the spigot must be, If it be not clear enough , draw it from the thick dregs into another Vessell and let it settle there twenty four hours, This Vessel must be less than the first, because you draw not all out of the first. If then it should not be clear enough, draw it into a third, yet lesser than the second, but usualy it is at the first When it is clear enough draw it into Bottles; filling them within two fingers, which stop close; After two or three days visit then, that if there be danger of there Working (which would break the Bottles) you may take out the stopples, and let them stand open for half a quarter of an hour, them stop them close, and they are secure for ever after. In cold freezing weather set them upon hay, and cover them over with hay or straw. In open weather, in winter, transpose them to any other part of the Cellar to stand upon the bare ground or pavement in hot weather set them in Sand. The Syder of Apples of the last Season as Pippins, not Pearmains, (not Codlins) will Last til the Summer grow hot, though this never Work, it is not of the nature of stummed wine, because the naughty dregs are not left in it. (pp.30-32)
Late 17th c. Family Recipes
Wellcome Library Manuscript MS 2330 is a moderate length manuscript containing cooking recipes followed by a section of medical recipes. In the section of cooking recipes Family Recipes (late 17th c.) instructs:
To make Cider.
Take the best Pippins & pear-means you can get; & after they bear sweat beat em but not small hen throw juice & press into a chisee till morning, then sift white sand so fast on it that it may carry down the lee; then draw off the cider & put it into a barrel with 1. pound of Mallago Reasons, & so much wheat bruis’d into bales; then draw it into bottles in 14. days without sugar; the vessel you put it in must be wider at top than at bottom.
Now to fine it, when your Cider ha’s stood about 3. Days in a cool place coverd with a hair cloth & another over it but not so close as to make it work. & if it be not indifferent clear, let it stand fourteen days; then draw it of again, after which let itt stand 2. Or 3. Days then take 1. Gallon, or 5. Quarts of spring water, & boil it in 5. Or 6. Ounces of Ising-glass till the water be half boil’d away then put it into a Hogshead of Cider & twill fine it if your quantity of Cyder be less the auantity of water & Ising-glass must be proportionably abated; the Cider will be fine in 14 days time after putting in the Ising-glass & then twill be fit to Bottle. (pp.19-20)
This use of sand to ‘carry down’ the lees is unique in my reserach to this point.
1685-1695 Cider Market Share
Secondary sources are included in the Historical Brewing Sourcebook where they provide information not otherwise represented, and where they are considered to have a specific and verifiable connection to primary documents unavailable without in-person research. Charters, 2006 summarizes information on percentage share of different drinks in England for the years 1685-1770, relevant data as follows:
|Year||Wine (pints)||Beer (strong and small) (quarts)||Spirits (quarterns)||Cider (pints)|
- 1700 Bayne Recipes
Ann Bayne’s book of recipes is a manuscript held by the University of Iowa in its Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts and Cookbooks collection. The manuscript is attributed with a c. 1700 date based on an 1847 inscription attributing the ownership to the mother of a woman who dies age “above Seventy Years” in 1799. Bayne (c. 1700) makes a drink using cider as an ingredient as follows:
To make wine like Clarett
Take 2 gallons of redstrake syder & 2 gallons of water & put to it 8 pound of the best malago Rasins bruised & stoned let them stand close covered for a fortnight stir it well every 2 daies then add to your liquor in the same vessell 2 quarts of the juice of rasberry a quart of the juice of black cherries &let it work with 2 spoonfulls of ale yest 3 daies then draw it of into your bottles with alump of sugar in every bottle (p.149)
Barker, T. (1654). The country-mans recreation, or The art of planting, grafting and gardening in three books. London: T. Mabb. Retrieved from HathiTrust Digital Library https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/102262341
Bayne, A. (c. 1700). Book of Recipes. U Iowa MS. Retrieved from University of Iowa http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/cookbooks/id/9962/rec/5
Chartres, J. (2006). No English Calvados?. In: Chartres, J, & Hey, D. 2006. English Rural Society, 1500-1800: Essays in Honor of Joan Thirsk. Cambridge University Press.
Family receipts. (late 17th c.) Wellcome Library MS2330. Retrieved from Wellcome Library http://wellcomelibrary.org/player/b1877147
Fowler, E. (1684). Cookbook of Elizabeth Fowler. Folger Shakespeare Library V.a.468. Accessed at Folger Shakespeare Library http://hamnet.folger.edu/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=226686.
Hartman, George. 1683. Hartman’s Curiosities of Art and Nature. 2nd Ed. London. Retrieved from Library of Congress https://www.loc.gov/item/75315989/.
Hudson, Sarah. 1678. Her Book. Wellcome Library MS 2954. Retrieved from Wellcome Library http://search.wellcomelibrary.org/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1963610
King, J. (c. 1625- c. 1725). Medicinal and cookery recipes. Folger Library V.a.490. Retrieved from Folger Shakespeare Library http://hamnet.folger.edu/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=230663
Woolley, H. (1675). The accomplish’d lady’s delight in preserving, physick, beautifying, and cookery. London: B. Harris. Retrieved from Library of Congress https://www.loc.gov/item/75320945/
Last Revised September 11, 2018